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Jay
11 Aug 05,, 13:29
http://www.nukephoto.com/

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Trident missile fire control trigger, USS Maine, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia. The black trigger is for training and demonstration purposes, the red trigger for actual missile launch is kept in the safe on the left. The submarine's commanding officer, weapons officer and two other teams of officers must each verify launch orders (received in the form of an Emergency Action Message or EAM) with keys and validation codes. Permissive Action Links were not added to Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) until 1997 because there were Cold War scenarios in which the crew was authorized to launch weapons without direct orders from the National Command Authorities (such as a post-attack environment in which no such authority had survived or could communicate) This autonomy (along with their inherent survivability) made submarines the most effective deterrents against a first strike attack. A SLBM cannot be recalled once launched.

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Weapons panel, B-52H Stratofortress bomber, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Bomber weapons (gravity bombs and cruise missiles) are equipped with Permissive Action Links (PALs) that require codes from a centralized authority to arm the weapon. These were instituted in the 1960's to prevent unauthorized use of nuclear weapons by renegade crew members or terrorists.

Jay
11 Aug 05,, 13:36
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Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System (PARCS) for missile warning, Cavalier, North Dakota. Originally built for the Army's abandoned SAFEGUARD antiballistic missile system in 1972, it was taken over by the Air Force in 1977 to provide early warning of submarine and land-based missile attacks. Unlike mechanically steered radars, this stationary system precisely directs its angle of view by electronially phase-shifting thousands of individual elements. It can detect a basketball-sized object at 2000 miles. Its north-facing coverage is augmented by similar PAVE-PAWS radars in Massachusetts and California, and BMEWS radars in Alaska and Greenland.Built to withstand nuclear attack, the 121 foot structure has reinforced concrete walls that are 7 feet thick on the radar face. It was the second tallest building in North Dakota at the time of construction.

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NORAD/USSPACECOM Command Center, Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) is a multi-service US and Canadian organization. Its primary mission is to gather and assess air and missile attack warnings. Built within a granite mountain between 1961 and 1964, it was designed to survive nearby nuclear explosions but became vulnerable as Soviet missile accuracy improved. 700,000 tons of granite were excavated to create 4 1/2 acres of tunnels and caverns for the complex's 15 spring-mounted internal buildings. With its 25-ton blast door sealed in "buttoned-up" mode the complex can operate for weeks with self-contained water supply, air filtration, food, and power generation.

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NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, 25 ton blast door, Colorado Springs, Colorado. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) is a multi-service US and Canadian organization. Its primary mission is to gather and assess air and missile attack warnings. Built within a granite mountain between 1961 and 1964, it was designed to survive nearby nuclear explosions but became vulnerable as Soviet missile accuracy improved. 700,000 tons of granite were excavated to create 4 1/2 acres of tunnels and caverns for the complex's 15 spring-mounted internal buildings. With its door sealed in "buttoned-up" mode the complex can operate for weeks with self-contained water supply, air filtration, food, and power generation.

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Minuteman III missile launch switches, Launch Control Center (LCC) "October 1", Grover, Colorado. Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting (REACT) consoles replaced outmoded LCC consoles requiring key-turns by 1996. These allow the retargeting of missiles in a few minutes, a process that previously took up to 40 minutes. To launch a missile two officers must perform a complicated procedure to validate orders and insert PAL codes. They must also receive an additional "yes" launch vote from another LCC or airborne command center. Finally, four switches (on two consoles placed twelve feet apart so that one person can't reach all of them) must be turned simultaneously to affect a launch. An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile cannot be recalled once launched.

Jay
11 Aug 05,, 13:40
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B83 nuclear gravity bombs in Weapons Storage Area, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. With a yield of one megaton, these are currently the most powerful weapons in the US arsenal.

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B61-11 "earth penetrator" nuclear bomb in B-2 bomber, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. (This photo shows practice loading of a dummy bomb in a training mockup.) Deployed in 1997, this is the first new or modified nuclear weapon design introduced since 1989. It's based on the existing B61-7 bomb. Dropped from a B-2 bomber, it can penetrate concrete or frozen ground up to 20 feet deep before detonating. Also known as a "bunker buster”, its yield is estimated to be up to 350 kilotons.

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National Missile Defense. Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) for Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system test, Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll in the south Pacific, Republic of the Marshall Islands. This was one of 21 planned tests in which the interceptor attempted to destroy a dummy warhead launched 4800 miles away from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Payload Launch Vehicle used as a stand-in for the operational GBI (still under development at the time) in this and other early tests was a specially modified retired Minuteman II missile. To date, the system has had five successful intercept attempts in eight developmental tests.

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Minuteman III missile installation, silo "Juliet 6", Peetz, Colorado. This missile is being returned to its silo after propellant replacement and guidance system upgrades. It is being lowered by winch-driven cables from its Transporter Erector vehicle parked overhead. The Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were the first with solid-fuel motors, designed to be storable, reliable, and launchable on short notice. The first Minuteman missile went on alert on October 27, 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The latest Minuteman III version (with three warheads) was deployed in 1970.

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National Missile Defense, Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) prepped for test flight, Raytheon Company, Tucson, Arizona. The US system to be deployed in Alaska and California by 2004-5 will launch interceptor missiles to destroy incoming warheads in their midcourse (post-boost) phase through physical impact. The technical challenge of the "hit to kill" strategy is often compared to that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. The EKV is designed to be launched by a Ground Based Interceptor missile and, using a combination of on-board sensors and ground-based radar, steer itself into the path of the incoming warhead at a combined speed of over 15,000 miles per hour.


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Minuteman III missile installation, silo "Juliet 6", Peetz, Colorado. This missile is being returned to its silo after propellant replacement and guidance system upgrades. It will be lowered by winch-driven cables from its Transporter Erector vehicle parked overhead. The Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were the first with solid-fuel motors, designed to be storable, reliable, and launchable on short notice. The first Minuteman missile went on alert on October 27, 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The latest Minuteman III version (with three warheads) was deployed in 1970.

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Blast door, "November 1" Minuteman II Launch Control Center (LCC), Newell, South Dakota. Each group of ten unmanned missile silos (known as a "flight") is controlled by a two-person crew in a hardened underground capsule . The eight ton concrete and steel blast door was adorned with a logo painted in 1988 by an 1st Lieutenant Jeff Yock, an amateur artist from the squadron . Carrying on the tradition of bomber “nose art”, most LCCs have paintings based on the squadron’s unique logo. The Air Force has archived photographs of logos from dozens of LCCs destroyed since the end of the Cold War to comply with treaties . "No Lone Zone, Two Man Concept Mandatory" (sign to right of door) is a reminder of the security policy dictating that no one should ever be in a sensitive nuclear weapons area without another authorized person present. This is to prevent the possibility of an unobserved person tampering with the security of the the launch control system. (This LCC, along with all of Ellsworth Air Force Base's missile facilities except for two retained as historic sites, was deactivated by 1994 and destroyed by 1996.)

TopHatter
11 Aug 05,, 14:35
Nice pictures :)

But where's Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy? :biggrin:

Jay
11 Aug 05,, 15:22
They become old and so decommisioned :tongue:

TopHatter
11 Aug 05,, 16:13
They become old and so decommisioned :tongue:

Godda**it I'd piss onna sparkplug if I thought'd do any good!